One of the greatest threats to the stability of president Goodluck Jonathan government has been the high rate of insecurity in the country . It appears that this administration has witnessed more violent crimes than any other administration. The administration has witnessed some of the high profile bomb blasts including the Independent Day bomb blast, the UN house bombing, to mention but a few. The administration has also witnessed the rising cases of bank robbery which has forced banks to close business in some parts of the country.
Using Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital as a case study, the rate of armed robbery attacks on banks, super markets, and telecommunication companies amongst other high profile armed attacks has skyrocketed in the last three months resulting in the deaths of more than ten police officers and innocent citizens, with many people sustaining injuries .
To borrow a line from most of our leaders, no nation can develop in an atmosphere of insecurity. Development only comes when there is good security system in place to protect lives and properties of the citizens and others who come to do business in the country. It therefore means that with the current height of insecurity in Nigeria, there can hardly be any serious development.
The questions are: what is the real cause of the current high rate of insecurity? Who are those involved in it? How is it going to be tackled? And who are those to tackle it?
The real cause of the current insecurity has many dimensions. But whatever dimension it has, the Nigeria police force is charged with the responsibility to maintain law and order in the country. With thousands of university graduates coming out of schools on yearly basis and having nothing to do,the fear of poverty and the desperation to acquire wealth might tempt some people to go into armed robbery. It therefore means that the nation needs the police that can police the nation if the current wave of insecurity must be brought under control.
To be able to police the nation effectively, the current police force must undergo a restructuring, rehabilitation and repositioning in order to achieve the aim.
The police are presently constituted by men which have low academic qualifications. Some are in the force because they have no means of livelihood and not for the purpose of ensuring the security of lives and properties of the people. Most of them do not have the expertise to handle internal security.
As we know, anyone who wants to be a pastor goes to pastor’s school; the person who wants to be a reverend father goes to seminary school. Other professions have their training processes. In the same vein, the police college should be upgraded to a full fledged autonomous police university where those who intend to join the force would be given special training to enable them handle security issues of the nation.
The police that can police the nation must be on top of its game in the area of intelligence gathering and handling of the intelligence gathered. A situation where classified security information about crim inal’ s hideout is divulged leading to the escape of the criminals before arrival of the police, suggests that some men of the force are working for criminals and not for the nation.
It is important to state here that the police force can only be effective if the people were ready to provide it with all the vital information about criminal plans and activities. Individuals and organisations should ensure proper screening of those they employ, and reveal vital information only to trusted fellows.
One thing is sure; as the police is re-strategising, to contain the criminal elements in the society, the criminals and the agents of violence are also adopting new style of operation.
Therefore, the police that can police the nation should be adequately equipped. They should have all the incentives and motivations they need.
Their families must be protected and provided with all the basic necessities of life. They should have all the latest security gadgets and must be trained and re-trained in the handling of these equipments. All these will make the force respond in good time to distress calls and create a nation, where people can sleep with their two eyes closed. Such is the police that can police the nation.
Izejiobi wrote in from Port Harcourt.